Tag Archive | Winning Strategies

WS# 11: Fall In Love

Over the years I have had many people, dear friends and loved ones speak truths over me that I had a hard time believing, let alone hearing.  They would speak of my beauty or my strength or my character, to name a few.

18 years ago, I would flat out deny what was said and actively and aggressively point out why what they said was not true.

10 years ago, I would minimize what they said by adding things to what they said.  “kim you are Beautiful”  were their words and in my head I would add “But _________”.

7 years ago I began to learn to simply say Thank You and pretend I believed what they said.  This became easier to do than to fight with them over why it wasn’t true.

4 Years ago I began this Road to Beautiful, a journey of physical(weight loss) healing, emotional healing(engaging my emotions) and psychological healing(facing my childhood sexual abuse head on) that would bring about a spiritual beauty that would reflect Jesus back to those who meet me.   I had no idea really what this journey would entail but I knew it would be hard and painful.  I did not expect or perhaps comprehend the fullness of the joy that could come with facing the hard stuff of life and actually dealing with it instead of running from it.  4 years ago, I began to put myself first.  I began to deem myself worthy of the time it would take to invest in me and my healing and wholeness.   I decided that regardless of how I felt, I was worth it and no matter what I would act like it.  Fake it till ya make it, right?

This year, as I have begun to see the changes in my body and in my heart and in how I view the world and others around me, I realized that something has shifted.

I used to walk in to the gym and feel intimidated, like I didn’t belong there.  The other day, I walked confidently into the gym, my head held high, making eye contact with those around me and not avoiding the mirrors.  This was MY gym.  I belonged there.

The other day, someone told me I was beautiful and I think for the first time ever, I actually believed them.  I didn’t question the statement.  I didn’t try to justify it or minimize it, not out loud or in my head.  I simply believed them.  Then I cried.

Happy Tears.  What a testament of the healing that has happened on this journey.  Bold steps taken 4 years ago to step out on this journey has led to this moment in time, where I have realized, I have dared to fall in love.  With myself. Not in a narcissistic or arrogant kind of way, but rather in a way that simply accepts truth that has always been present and that I can now believe and embrace.

As I realized all of this, I wonder if this shift in belief happened sometime earlier and if this shift in belief about myself is what has actually brought about my recent weight loss success(combined with Leif and Tate’s expertise).  I don’t have scientific proof about whether what you believe about yourself effects weight loss, but I dare you to try it.  I dare you to fall in love with yourself, make yourself and your health a priority, to fake it til you make it…and see what happens in your own journey.



WS#10 Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

One of my biggest struggles in this journey is comparing my journey to another persons. I can easily find myself looking at someone else who is losing weight and begrudging them their success because they don’t “appear” to be working as hard as I am. I find myself jealous of some because their body doesn’t plateau as easily and they can get away with eating Mickey D’s every day and still lose 2-4 lbs a week while I follow my plan perfectly both nutritionally and training wise and perhaps see a gain.

There is also a reverse comparison that happens as I look at the body building demographic. They couldn’t possibly understand what it is like to lose 200+ lbs or what it is like to be in this ongoing transformation process emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Right? Wrong. (More on this in another post)

The problem with comparing yourself to others is this. Our bodies are not the same. They respond to different things in a very individualistic way. Imagine that…a body that has been created so uniquely by a very creative God, responds uniquely to different dieting methods. What works for me may not work for you and it may not even be healthy for you to do what I do in a given week.

The other problem with comparing is that you/I miss out on an incredible relationship and support that could be had, if only I wasn’t so caught up in jealousy over someone’s journey. I realized this as I almost missed out on an incredibly supportive and inspiring relationship I have right now with a woman I met through Leif Anderson Fitness. My friend Julie started her transformation at about the same time as I did with Leif. However, her journey is not mine and when I saw pictures of her I thought, “what does this girl have to lose?” In all honesty, I did not want to like this woman. But doggone it she was so nice and kind and was always encouraging me in some way to stay in it when I was really struggling and in the midst of my self-involved struggle, it APPEARED that it was easy for her. Fuel for the jealousy fire, let me tell you! The truth is, it wasn’t easy for her, not then and not now…although it is probably easier now for both of us now that we kind of know what to expect from the process. Currently, Julie is done with fat loss and is working on muscle building. I cannot even fathom that journey, not when I still have so much fat left to dissolve! This is what I know though. Julie works hard. She meal preps and eats much the same as I do. She has to schedule her workouts in and make time for herself, forsaking fun stuff at times to get it all in or when she is struggling and doesn’t know if she can handle remaining on plan and going to a party. She is just as committed to her process as I am to mine.( I am posting this from my phone, I will link to Julie’s blog once at home so you all can be inspired by her too!) We are in this together even though the journey looks a little different. We both struggle with using food for comfort and with wanting to go off plan at times. I would also imagine that there are times she really doesn’t want to go out in the cold to go get her workout in. But she does it.

If I had allowed myself to stay in that place of comparison, I would have missed out on a great friendship that inspires me and challenges me to be better, to do better, and to stay in this process. Comparing ourselves to others, does nothing but limit the possibilities and create walls of prejudice between people where there doesn’t need to be any. Be surprised by what comes of it.

So, if you find yourself in a place of comparing, take a moment and look at the person. See what they are doing and perhaps take an interest in them. You might begin to see far more similarities than differences and you just might

WS#9 The Begats-Choosing Well

Let me just be real for a moment.  I have made poor choices the last 2 weeks.  Nothing ridiculous like the epic fail and binge fest of about a month ago but poor choices nonetheless.  The first week, I got grace on the scale.  The second week, evidence of my failings were present.  I have chosen to stay up late chatting with a new friend which has resulted in not waking up for morning workouts.   Then of course, the chatting begins when the workday ends which means often I have missed those workouts.  Then….I could go on…but you get the idea.

In the Bible, especially the old testament, you see long boring chapter outlining these really long barely pronounceable names that begat another long barely pronounceable name.  So and so begat so and so who begat so and so.

What does this mean?

Well, I think it means one person is born of another person.  One cannot/would not come without the one preceding it.

I think, our/my decisions are kind of like those “begats”.

I choose to stay up late which begats a lot of “snoozing” which begats a missed workout which begats….

Today, I was tired of this pattern and decided consciously to return to the methods that got me to 100 lbs.

I prepped my meals last night, instead of trying to fly thru it in the morning, which begat all meals eaten as planned, which begat a desire to not end my day without my workout, so I went to the gym and did strength training, which begat a decision to stick to my plan for my cardio, which begat great choices even when confronted with BACON!

Let me try to speak in english now for a moment.  I think each decision we make is born of the one before it.  Have you ever noticed that once you go off plan it is much easier to toss the whole plan as opposed to jumping right back in?  Our poor choices don’t have to derail us, they CAN BE merely speed bumps.  If we let ourselves fall into a tail spin, it starts with one poor decision and they build on each other.  The same goes for good choices.  When you choose to stick to your plan it becomes easier to stick to it in the next moment or with the next thing.  Next thing you know, you feel so great about who you are and what you are accomplishing, it becomes easy to keep going.

Tonight, when I left the gym I felt great.  It was good to be back in the gym pushing my muscles to the max.  But it felt even better to know I held my commitment to myself, because I am worth the time it takes to make me better.   I like the kind of “begats” that come from these kind of choices.

Winning Strategy #9: Make the kind of choices you feel good about that begets more good choices that you can feel good about!

WS#8 Don’t Assume, Give People A Chance To Support You

The last few weeks have been fun and exciting (and scary) on so many levels.  I am discovering a new found confidence, and dare I say a comfort in being 100 lbs lighter and at my lightest weight in I don’t even know how long.

With the holidays, comes all sorts of fun social things to do and with hints of possible dating on the rise it is easy to become comfortable with where I am at.   Yet, I know, there is more to be had.   More of ME to discover and uncover and reveal.  More life to be lived.

It is easy, after 100 lbs and all of this fun stuff happening to sit back and indulge in the food-ful festivities, and to eat off plan.  It is easier to indulge than not, especially in the midst of new relationships.  As I look at a particular new person in my life, I have realized, I don’t WANT to diet with this person.  I want to be NORMAL.  I don’t want to limit what is possible in regards to how we spend time together.  Really, though, I just don’t want to have a vulnerable conversation with someone who doesn’t see my life on FB or read my blog and therefore doesn’t know the reality of what my life looks like in regards to dieting.   There is a fear that all of “this” might just be more than he is up for.  Maybe not.

Here is what I know though, when I am not being a flighty girl and all wigged out in girly-ness.

Most people WANT to support you/me, they just don’t know how and the clearer I am in my needs and what is allowed, the better support they can be.  If people are not up for being supportive, they likely aren’t people I need in my life anyway.

So, what is my strategy in addressing this all new territory for me?

Gonna have a conversation.  This is my life.  These are my needs.  This is what needs to happen to facilitate my continued success.  This is what I can’t let happen, no matter how much I want to.

Then, I am gonna give them/him a chance to support me…and see what happens….

Exciting?  Yep.

Scary?  More than you know.

Worth it?  Without a doubt.

WS#7 Don’t Ditch Your Support Team

This week I got to re-learn how important my support team is and what happens when I get arrogant enough to think “I got this” and don’t need them and when i let shame win.

I have come to a place in my journey where so many people know what I am up to and know my commitment to this journey, that I could have called on just about anyone to stand with me during last weeks struggle and I would have had no less than 10 people ready to join the battle with me.  It used to be that I intentionally had a very small handful who I would let in to this space with me.  While, it is such a blessing to have so much love and support around me, that same support is a double-edged sword when things get tough and shame creeps in as I fail again and again in my choices.

Last week was an epic week and I learned alot.

  • In case you missed it, I discovered that I have lost 100 lbs from my all time high weight(as recorded by my doc!
  • Then I blogged about it, and as you know, if you have been reading for a while, I write quite honestly, which means I often put my words out there then sit back feeling incredibly exposed.
  • Then a friend decided to honor me with a 100 lb party and invited all of blogdom and all of my FB world to join in by sending me stories of how my life lived out loud has impacted theirs.
  • Then, a boy happened on the scene of my life.  ok he came on scene a few months ago, but this week it became apparent that there may be some mutual interest, which, while exciting, also has my panties all up in a bunch, as this is all new territory to me with new levels of vulnerability being reached.
  • and then, basic life needs took over.  Things I needed to put some time into and with limited hours other things got cut out such as meal prep and workouts.

So that is what was going on.  All of that left me feeling quite shaken, vulnerable, exposed, and terrified.  What if I can’t keep going?  What if I can’t maintain this?  What if my body stops working again?  What if I let all of you down?  What if…???

In response to all these questions/fears that there are no answers to, I ate.  I ate fried chicken and oatmeal cream pies.  I ate at restaurants I had no business smelling at let alone eating at, one of which was a chinese buffet.

In the midst of this, I failed to let “Coach”  or Aaron know the reality of what was going on.  I failed to let Tate in on the reality of my struggle.  I failed to ask for help in sorting through what was going on for me.  I pretended I was ok.  I pretended that I was strong enough to handle it.  I tried to rationalize my way through things instead of sitting down and letting myself have a moment to honestly feel the depths of my fears and instead at every hint of them rising up, I stuffed them back with food.  I hid.

This is what I know to be true, more than anything else for me.  When I sit in a dark place and allow my sin and my shame to keep me in a dark place and I don’t speak it out into the universe, when I don’t shine a bright light on it by exposing it and myself to others(my support team), I cannot win.  I will sink further and further into darkness and it will become harder and harder to pull out.  When I fail to utilize my support team, people who loved me at 368 lbs and rising and who love me at my 260ish lbs and shrinking, I fail.   When my arrogance rises up and I begin to think I can handle all that life throws at me, I fail.  When I keep things secret, I fail.

So, my winning strategy for this week is to USE YOUR SUPPORT TEAM!  Don’t ditch them in a time of crisis, pull them in closer.  Hold on to your lifelines as tight as you need to and always ask for help.  There is no shame in asking for help!

Incredibly valuable lessons were re-learned for me this week and I am grateful for opportunities to go again.

WS# 6 Don’t Be Afraid To Offend Someone

This journey is your own and I have discovered that in my own journey the level of support I have rises with my level of commitment to it.  In the beginning, outside of a select few, I felt very little real support.  Part of this was due to me keeping quiet and part of it was the fact that people had watched my wishy-washiness of the past and were waiting to see if this would be a repeat of my previous failed commitments.

So this time, as I realized the level of commitment that Leif was asking for when I signed up with him, combined with my determination that I would give him everything he asked for (so I could walk away knowing I had done everything i could), I dove in 100%.

What does this mean?

Well, for this post it meant that When invited out to dinner, I was willing to say no and possibly offend the person extending the invitation.  It also meant, if i was invited over for dinner, I learned to be comfortable with asking what was for dinner and letting them know about my journey and how they could support me.  If they were unwilling (rarely the case) I simply brought my own food.

35 weeks later, when i travel to West Michigan for a 2 day weekend, I have my suitcase and I have my cooler full of food.  At mealtimes, I simply bust out my travel containers.

At first, I think people were a little put out, but they began to realize I was serious as a heart attack about this journey.  Now though, people ask me when my free meal is so we can go out to eat.  Or when they invite me for dinner, they ask what my plan is that week.  They realized pretty quickly that my journey had nothing to do with them and I WANTED to spend time with them, but I had to also take care of me too.

I have not had anyone remain offended once they realized this truth.  I have not lost any friends because of my journey. If anything, I have gained so many more and my support system of people has grown exponentially as I have remained steadfast, no. matter. what.

WS#5 Know Your Boundaries/Limits: It’s OK To Say No

When I first started aggressively trying to lose weight and get healthy 4 years ago one of the big struggles that I had to get beyond was people pleasing.

Oh there is a party going on?  With food?  Sure I can come.  Just a  little bit won’t hurt.

However, I am a social butterfly, and at that time, I lived in Grand Rapids where I had a very active social life.  3-4 nights a week of gatherings of some sort turned into more than a little bit.

As I traveled this road, I came to realize that I didn’t have to do everything I was invited to and I certainly didn’t have to accept every dish passed my way.  My friends, those who truly supported me, would NOT be offended if I passed on their food offerings.

When I signed up with Leif Anderson Fitness 34 weeks ago, I knew that at the end of my 20 week package I would be able to walk away confidently knowing I had done everything possible to lose weight.  Since I knew this, I also knew I had to give it everything I had so that I could walk away without any regrets. No lingering doubts of, “if only I had or had not…” would be able to be in my mind.  Leif had also told me pretty directly that if I worked the plan, 100%, there is no way he could not keep my body losing.  I set out to prove him wrong by doing everything right. (side note: I failed at times at being perfect.  Go Figure.)

What this 100% commitment translated to in reality was what some might consider extreme.  I skipped a family Easter dinner because I knew that I was not in a place mentally/emotionally to go to a gathering and eat on plan.  I took a small amount of heat for that from family and it was kind of depressing to spend Easter alone, but I figured if I can get my weight under control, I will have at least 50 more Easter dinners.  If I don’t, my Easter dinners are numbered.  I chose an extreme short-term measure based on how I felt in the moment in regards to food for the vision of a long and healthy life.

Often I will decline invitations to things based on how I feel about food.  At first, I didn’t explain why and later I began to explain and as my friends saw my results they totally supported my decision to remain steadfast in my commitment, no matter what.

Now, I don’t always say no to things.  There are plenty of times I feel in complete control and will go and meet friends for dinner.  I will have already eaten my dinner and will merely sit with them while they eat and I will drink a diet soda.  At first this was weird, but again, as friends saw my intense commitment to my journey and that nothing was going to stop me, they stopped questioning me and really started supporting me.

Often, they ask when my next free meal is, so we can do dinner out without breaking plan.  Some have joined me for cardio on occasion.   Others have asked what my meal plan is for that week and invited to cook for me, then cooked according to my plan.  When people love and support you, they are willing to make adjustments to be able to spend time with you in a way that is supportive.

Yes, at first it is weird to say no often and to set firm boundaries based on what you can handle in a given moment.  For this people pleasing girl, it felt incredibly selfish to be making such demands on where and what we do.  What I discovered though is that this is MY journey.  People love me.  I don’t say that in an arrogant way, just a matter of fact.  My friends and family love me and they support me to the extent of my commitment.  If I am wishy-washy in my stance, they will be to.  If I stand firm in what I can and cannot do or handle they will rise up and stand firmly beside me and they will do it gladly.

All of these paragraphs ultimately say this…it’s ok to say no and it’s ok to set boundaries.  This is your life.  Do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.  One day you might be able to handle ordering off of a menu, other days you might not without deviating from plan.  Know your limits.  Check in often with yourself and act accordingly.  Your true friends will love you, respect you more, and rise to the occasion to support you as you take bold steps to take back your life.

and…don’t be afraid to let people in on what you are doing and to ask for help.

We are not meant to live life alone.  I could not have lost 78 lbs without the help, love and support of my friends.  They could not have supported me well unless I was clear about what I needed.  Give them a chance to support you, say no as often as you need to.  Know your limits.